WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed is encouraging interested Rhode Island teens to apply to serve on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Youth Preparedness Council.  FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council is a unique opportunity for young leaders from around the country to compete to serve on a national panel and voice their opinions, experiences, ideas, and feedback to help address youth preparedness during natural disasters. 

Members of the Youth Preparedness Council will have the chance to participate in a community preparedness roundtable event in Washington, DC this summer where they will join council members from across the country and federal officials and emergency response officials at a forum on youth disaster preparedness.  Council members will also be expected to develop and complete a disaster preparedness project for their FEMA region. 

“Young people can play an important role in disaster preparedness, helping their families, neighbors, and peers.  This is an opportunity to help make a difference in the community and engage in the national conversation about disaster preparedness,” said Reed, who noted that many teens in Rhode Island have been directly impacted by severe weather, including the historic floods of March 2010, and, more recently Superstorm Sandy.  “When disaster strikes, it is critical to be prepared and to help those in need.  I encourage all interested young people to apply.”

The Youth Preparedness Council is comprised of 13 members (12-17 years of age) from across FEMA’s 10 regions.  Rhode Island is part of FEMA Region 1, which also includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  Last year, a 15 year old Massachusetts resident was chosen from among 125 applicants to represent the New England region.

Participants are expected to represent the youth perspective on emergency preparedness and relay information back to members of their communities.  Each council member is expected to develop and complete one preparedness-related project specific to his/her region and interests.  In addition to attending the Summit in the summer of 2013, council members will potentially participate in national, regional, and local preparedness meetings and present their work.  It is expected that members will take part in conference calls with FEMA officials on a regular basis to provide ongoing input on strategies, initiatives, and projects throughout the duration of their term on the advisory panel.

Candidates may apply or be nominated by an adult.  For more information, please visit: www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness

All applications and supporting materials must be received no later than 11:59 E.D.T. on April 19, 2013.  Council members will be selected and notified in May 2013.